How to Start a Business in Columbus, OH – Useful Columbus Facts 2023

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Start a Business in Columbus, OH: When it comes to starting a business, entrepreneurs must look for the place with the most potential. Whether a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC, having a business in Columbus, OH, is a plus for any entrepreneur. In general, setting up any form of business in Ohio, US, is the initial step to building an international brand.

Entrepreneurs across the globe are interested in starting and expanding their businesses in Columbus, OH. With an urban population of 1547862 (estimate), the city has a lot to offer to all emerging entrepreneurs. The main reason for this is the economic environment and flexibility of the business structure in Ohio. Like most places in the US, Columbus, OH also offers business structures for all types of entrepreneurs; no matter what business you want to do, there’s a perfect solution for you. If you want to start limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, or a sole proprietorship, Columbus, OH has a proper business environment for all.

How to Start a Business in Columbus, OH

In this article, you will read about how to start a business in Columbus and why you should choose Columbus to start and run your business. We recommend you check below the important facts about Columbus, OH; these might help you.

Columbus, OH Household Income Statistics

Columbus Median household income54902 USD
Columbus households with dual income earners53.2 %
Columbus households $150K+ Income8 %
Columbus households $100K+ Income21.8 %
Columbus households $100-150K Income13.8 %
Columbus households $75-100K+ Income13.2 %
Columbus households $50-75K+ Income19.4 %
Columbus households $35-50K+ Income14.6 %
Columbus households $25-35K+ Income10.1 %

Columbus, OH Education & Labor force Facts

Columbus residents with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)23.8 %
Columbus residents with at least a 4-year degree36.9 %
Columbus residents with a graduate degree13.1 %
Columbus residents with a high school diploma but no more25.2 %
Columbus residents with less than high school education10.2 %
Columbus residents with some college but no more27.7 %
Columbus residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (STEM fields)44.1 %
Columbus households that own (rather than rent) their residence44.9 %
Columbus residents 16 and older in the labor force70.3 %
Columbus residents unemployed5.4 %

Columbus, OH Demographics

Columbus residents aged 0-913.6 %
Columbus residents aged 10-1912 %
Columbus residents aged 20-2919.6 %
Columbus residents aged 30-3916.9 %
Columbus residents aged 40-4911.5 %
Columbus residents aged 50-5911.1 %
Columbus residents aged 60-698.9 %
Columbus residents aged 70-794.1 %
Columbus residents aged over 802.4 %
The average size of resident families in Columbus, OH3.16
Estimated population per square kilometer in Columbus, OH1560
Columbus, OH urban population (estimate)1547862
Columbus, OH municipal population (estimate)889079

Now that you know what makes Columbus of Ohio good for business, let’s get started with the exact steps on how to start a business in Columbus.

How to Start a Business in Columbus, OH

Starting a business in Columbus, OH, needs planning, financial decisions, legal procedures, and a handful of other things. Be it a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC in Ohio, you must go through the following steps. These steps are general steps. They are subject to change depending on the structure of your business.Generally, starting a Limited Liability Company is easy to form. Read our guide on how to start an LLC before you start your own business. Here are the steps to set up your business in Columbus.

Step 0: Decide on What Business to Start

Decide on What Business to Start

This is the first thing you work on, the type of business you want to start in Columbus. Depending on that, you need to make your business plan. Apart from the legal documentation and process, you must include the following points in your business plan,

  1. Through market research on demand trend
  2. Complete Budget plan – funding your business. If you’re planning to start an LLC, then take a look at the cost of LLC
  3. What competitors are doing
  4. SWOT Analysis – check what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are
  5. Your targeted buyers

Once you have the entire plan with you, you can continue working on the legal structure of your business. LLCBuddy will guide you through the legal process of forming an LLC for your business. It’s very likely that you have already done this step 0, so that we won’t go deep into this step, let’s move to step 1.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Choose Your Business Structure

The very first step after you decide on what type of business you want to start is to choose what type of business structure you want to form. You can form an LLC, a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. Each type of structure has different rules and regulations. For example, if you want to start a Ohio LLC, there are different types of tax and fee structures. An LLC formation is similar to forming a sole proprietorship. On the other hand, forming a corporation is much more complicated. The tax and fee structure is completely different in corporation formation.

Step 2: Name Your Business

Name Your Business

The next step in forming a business is to give it an appropriate name. Having a business name is not so easy task. You cannot pick a random name for your company. One has to follow proper naming guidelines before they name their company. Besides, before you settle a name, you must check if the name you are looking for is available to use. You can visit the official government site of Ohio to do the Ohio LLC name search before you pick the available name. Below are some of the naming rules you need to follow,

  1. You cannot name your business that has words or phrases like Bank, University, Government, or anything that can confuse people with a government sector. 
  2. If you are forming an LLC in Ohio, then you must include words like “LLC,” “LC,” “LLC,” “Liability Company,” and “L.L.C.” If it is an LLP, then you must include “LLP” in your business name.
  3. The name should reflect the nature of your business. Any name that can confuse people should not be picked.
  4. You can check if the name of your company is available. Through the business name search process, you can search if the desired name is available for use or not.
  5. You can reserve your business name for a certain time before you form your business in Columbus, OH by filing a name reservation application.

The above-mentioned points are basic naming rules that all businesses have to follow while naming their company. As mentioned above, these rules are subjected to change depending on the structure of the business.

Step 3: Get a Registered Agent

Get a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person who receives all types of legal and official documents on behalf of the business. Whether a suit against your company or formation-related documents from the state, a Ohio LLC Registered Agent is responsible for receiving these documents at his/her official address. In general, anyone who has the right to conduct business in Columbus can be a registered agent. However, there are some requirements to becoming a registered agent.

  1. The person has to be 18+ years of age.
  2. Must be a citizen of the Ohio
  3. Must have a physical street address in the Ohio
  4. Must have legal rights to conduct business in the Ohio

Anyone who fulfills the requirements can be a registered agent. Also, anyone from the company, your spouse, any relative, or yourself can be a registered agent. But, it is recommended that you hire a professional registered agent to look after your documentation. You can choose from the best LLC services that also offer registered agent for LLCs.

Step 4: Register Your Business

Register Your Business

The next step is to register your business under the Secretary of State, Ohio. The Articles of Organization (or certificate of incorporation) of your company should be submitted online, by mail, in person, or by fax to the Ohio SOS. You need to pay the state filing fee either by Credit Card or by check to the SOS while registering your business in the Columbus, OH. Your Ohio LLC articles of organization should have the following details about your business

  1. Company/Business name, address
  2. Registered Agent Name, address
  3. Member-managed or manager-managed (in case of LLC)
  4. Type of business

Depending on the type of business structure, you may have to add some more information to the formation document.

Step 5: Write the Operating Agreement

Write the Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that has all the structural information of your business. In most states, it is not mandatory to create an operating agreement. However, it is highly recommended to have one as an internal document. This document records information such as,

  1. About Business
  2. Members and management
  3. Capital contribution
  4. Profit Distribution
  5. Change of membership
  6. Dissolution

In future, if any member wants to leave the company or you want to dissolve the business, then the Ohio operating agreement has everything recorded, from clauses to contributions.

Step 6: Obtain EIN

Obtain EIN

EIN or Employer Identification Number is required to file taxes, open a business bank account, and if your business has employees. EIN can be obtained from IRS. It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. However, EIN is different from SSN. It is solely used for business purposes, especially for general tax filing. You have to fill out the form and submit it to the IRS website. It does not cost you anything to obtain EIN.

Step 7: Get Business Bank Accounts

Get Business Bank Accounts

Once you obtain the EIN for your business, you are free to open a business account in the US. Having a US business bank account can ease your business transactions in Columbus, OH. It increases your business credibility and liquidity. It will also be helpful for business loans.

Step 8: Create Your Business Website

Create Your Business Website

Business websites are as important as your business structure. It is necessary to have a catchy business website with all the information regarding your company. Along with the website, you need some more things. Things such as logos, business cards, business emails, domain names, and social media accounts are needed to promote your business. You can hire a professional business service to get all of these services under one roof.

Other Things to do After Starting Your Business

  1. Once your company is set in the Columbus, Ohio, you need to file your taxes and apply for licenses (if needed).
  2. Apart from the license and permits, you need to get insurance for your business. Such as General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance are some of the insurances you need to get if you are about to start an LLC.

Important Columbus Stats for Starting a Business

Before you start a business in Columbus, it is required that you know some facts about the city. Following are some of the stats to consider before starting a business.

Education & Employment

Columbus has a diverse population that comes from various educational backgrounds. There are students who haven’t finished their high-school education, whereas there are people who are more than just college graduates. Check the table (Education & Labor Force) for detailed data. From the data, it is clear that the city has enough educated and skilled people who can contribute to the labor force.


As we talk about the urban population density, the young population percentage in the city is approximately 19.6 (people in their 20s) and 16.9 (people in their 30s). This means that having any business that is new and tech-based might be profitable. The median age of the population in the city is 32.4. On the contrary, if anyone wants to start a business that is related to any old-age service, such as caregiver, primary old-age support, or something of a similar sort, then Columbus has approximately 2.4 (people in their 80s and above) percent of old people. Check out the table (Demography) above for more information.

Real Estate

Another important factor to mention about Columbus is the home value of owned properties. The average value of owned houses is 159007. Also, the percentage of people living in their own houses is 44.9. This reflects the real estate market of the city. For a metropolitan city, this is a considerable number.


It is inevitable that living in a big city is different from living in a town or a comparatively smaller city. It directly affects lifestyle and health. It is obvious that having health insurance is important, no matter which city or region you are residing in. But there are people in Columbus who still do not have health insurance. The rate of people not having health insurance is 9.2. This depicts the lifestyle and overall health demography of Columbus. As you plan to start your business in this city, you must consider this stat as well.

Income & Lifestyle

The income pattern of the people in this city is given in the table (Income) above. In Columbus, a part of the population has a dual family income that reflects a better standard of living. As in, people have more than one source of income. The table above shows the income percentage of various slabs.

Similar Read – How to Start Business In Kansas City, MO

Reasons to Start a Business in Columbus

Columbus offers a bunch of business-friendly services for entrepreneurs. A proper business environment, skilled labor, tax advances, deductions, and much more are awaiting if you are interested in starting your business in Columbus. Here are some of the reasons,

Stable Economic Growth

Columbus or any other city in Ohio has stable economic growth and an environment that helps any business to grow successfully. The economic structure of Ohio shows not only balanced but also a sustainable condition of economic growth, which in turn triggers the businesses to flourish in the state.

Minimize Personal Liabilities of the Entrepreneur

If you’re considering starting an LLC in Columbus, then it will be your best choice. An LLC protects your personal assets and minimizes your personal liabilities. This is one of the many reasons why having an LLC in Columbus is a wise choice. Also, if you are opting for an LLC, the tax deductions will be more than having a corporation.

Federal and State Tax Relaxation

There is a series of federal taxes that an entrepreneur has to pay when operating a business in the US. Depending on the state your company is located in, the state taxes are being imposed. For an LLC, both of these taxes are much lower compared to other business structures. Along with tax impositions, some tax deductions (state-wise) lower the filing fees and other government charges. Check out the Ohio LLC tax structure to know more about the tax structures for LLCs in the state.

Government Incentives for Entrepreneurs

Federal and state governments in the US ensure that entrepreneurs get a proper business environment in the state or city they are operating their business. The government provides a few incentives to the business holders in Ohio or any other state. That means if you are operating any business in Columbus, then Ohio State will provide an incentive for creating jobs, contributing to the state’s GDP, and/or balancing the state’s tax structure.

Low Corporate and Other Business Taxes

Corporations and other business structures (except for an LLC) are liable to pay a corporate tax in Ohio. Also, there is a Sales Tax that all businesses, including LLCs, have to pay. However, the rate of taxes is very low. Besides, as the businesses receive incentives, the tax burden gets lower.

Skilled Labour & Quality Manpower

In Columbus, it is easy to hire employees for your business. They are not only skilled but also well-educated to help your business grow. As mentioned above, the 70.3 is the percentage of labour participation. Hence, it is clear that having a business in Columbus will make a lot of difference to the existing labor force.

Demand for New Market and Industry

In Columbus, Ohio, there is an uprising demand for new industries and new markets. Entrepreneurs who are willing to start a business in any of the cities of any state are given enough opportunities to stay in business. Business licensing, tax deductions, incentives, and relaxation of business taxes are some of the benefits that encourage start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in Columbus.

If we follow the US Data, the median value of commute time for the residents to their work is approximately 22. If you are starting a business here, you must keep in mind that commutation can be a point to consider.

Intellectual Property Protection

The US government receives roughly more than 1 million applications for IPR every year. The federal government makes sure that there is no infringement of any patent or property rights. It does not matter which city in which state you are running your business. The rule of Intellectual Property Protection is the same for all. If you have a foreign business in the US, then you might get more benefits under the IPR act.

Other Benefits

Columbus (aka ) is ranked at 1 in terms of importance. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, there are some other benefits that businesses enjoy in Columbus. For example, technological advancement, a stable political environment, renewable resources, sustainable non-renewable resources, and some more benefits make things easier for entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses. According to US Data, the percentage of young people in Columbus is 16.9. Hence, it would be great to start a business that is related to tech here as you might get a good number of clients.

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Best Time To Start Business In Columbus Ohio

Regardless of whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or have a background in business, you will need to take several foundational steps in order to start a business in Columbus, Ohio. There are a number of resources to help you get started, and you can take advantage of a number of opportunities to help you succeed.

One of the biggest reasons that Columbus has caught the attention of so many startups is the low cost of living. It is home to the third-largest manufacturing workforce in the country, and there are a number of manufacturing companies that can provide you with valuable components and raw materials. In addition, Ohio’s low taxes mean that you will have fewer barriers to success when running a business.

Another reason that Columbus is a top destination for startups is the city’s public/private partnerships. These groups are a huge source of support for entrepreneurs. This includes the Small Business Development Center, which offers confidential counseling to small business owners. They can also explain the difference between business structures, and help you decide on the best structure for your business.

The best time to start a business in Ohio also depends on the type of business you are planning to open. There are numerous types of businesses that you can operate in the state, including manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. Depending on the type of business you are planning to operate, there may be legal requirements that you must follow.

If you are planning to open a restaurant or storefront, you may need to get a building permit and a health permit. You will also need to register your business with the state and get permits and licenses for your equipment and signage. In addition, you may need to comply with employment laws.

Another advantage to starting a business in Ohio is that you will have access to skilled workers and affordable commercial space. This is especially true in the city of Columbus, which has been named one of the best cities for startups by Forbes.

Another benefit to starting a business in Ohio is that there are a number of support organizations. Some of these organizations can help you get funded, and others can help you find the best resources for your business. One organization you may want to check out is VentureOhio. This organization offers “startup weeks” and hackathons. If you are a new startup, you can take advantage of these opportunities to help you get funded.

Columbus is also home to Path Robotics, which creates intelligent robots that can help make life easier for those with physical disabilities. Path is currently expanding, and the company is looking to expand its team. The company also provides funding for other companies, such as Forge Biologics, which makes life-changing gene therapy.

One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs who are starting a business in Ohio is finding the right funding. If you want to secure funding for your startup, you will need to determine how much you need to invest in your business, as well as how long you plan on retaining the funds. You will also need to calculate the costs of operating your business. This will help you determine which funding source will best help you achieve your business goals.

FAQ About Columbus, OH

How do you make money with an LLC in Columbus, OH?

The first step to making money with an LLC in Columbus, OH is to register your company. You can register your company in person, by mail, or online. Once your LLC is registered, you can start selling your product/services to make money.

How do you set up an LLC in Columbus, OH yourself?

Choosing the right sort of LLC to create is the first step in creating your own LLC in Columbus, OH. You must submit the Formation paperwork to the Secretary of State if you wish to create a single-member LLC.

Can I run a business from my home in Columbus, OH?

In Columbus, OH, operating a company from home is legal. However, running a home-based company may need a municipal license in certain places. For that, you should verify with the local government. You can operate your company from home if you’re authorized to.

Do I need a registered agent for my LLC in Columbus, OH?

A registered agent must be chosen if you wish to form an LLC in Columbus, OH. It might be a friend, family member, spouse, boss, colleague, or even you. But you must choose a registered agent for your LLC.

Why are LLCs so popular in Columbus, OH?

In Columbus, OH, LLCs are fairly common. An LLC has a pass-through tax and is easier to create. This is the reason why many new and small firms in Columbus, OH choose LLCs over other corporate forms. Furthermore, LLCs are simple to dissolve if you decide against continuing.

Why businesses are moving to Columbus, OH?

Columbus, OH’s robust economy is the key driver behind firms relocating there. This is made feasible by the city’s service industry and established industries. Given that Columbus’s economy is expanding daily, more firms are eager to relocate there.

What is the best area in Columbus, OH to live?

Cities are more expensive than towns or villages. When selecting an area in Columbus, OH to live in, make sure you consider the standard of living. Also, it is important to check if the place is properly connected with the rest of the city for your business.

Which small businesses make the most money in Columbus, OH?

In Columbus, OH, food trucks, coffee shops, modest real estate, and internet enterprises are the small businesses that generate the most profits. These are some nice small company ideas to think about if you want to establish a business in Columbus and earn some decent money there.

How do I protect my business name in Columbus, OH?

You should register your business name with Columbus, OH so that no one else can use your business name. You can register your business name with the secretary of state. You have to pay the reservation fee, and you can register your business name for up to a certain time.

How much does a DBA cost in Columbus, OH?

DBA filing fees in Columbus, OH are $39. Before establishing their company, LLCs must pay this sum to the Ohio Secretary of State in order to reserve their business name.

What are 3 disadvantages of an LLC in Columbus, OH?

The state fees paid by an LLC in Columbus, OH are more than those of a single proprietorship. The distinction between an LLC and a corporation is not well understood in Canada. Therefore, a Columbus, OH-based LLC can be regarded as a company in Canada. LLCs are complicated to run.

How much does it cost to get a tax ID number in Columbus, OH?

Finding a tax identification number in Columbus, OH, is surprisingly simple. To submit an application, all you have to do is go to the IRS website. In Columbus, OH, it costs nothing and just takes a short while to get a tax identification number.

Can I be my own registered agent in Columbus, OH for LLC?

In Columbus, OH, for an LLC, you may act as your own registered agent. You must be older than 18 years old and be able to legally do business in Columbus, OH in order to become a registered agent there.

How do I apply for a LLC in Columbus, OH?

Columbus, OH is a convenient location to apply for an LLC. The first step is completing the LLC form on the Secretary of State’s website. Once completed, print the online form from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. At last, turn in the form and payment for filing.

Do I need insurance for my LLC in Columbus, OH?

LLCs in Columbus, OH, need insurance. In general, it is a good idea to get insurance for your LLC. If your LLC in Columbus, OH has employees, several insurances, including workers’ compensation, are a must. For further details, you must consult the Ohio SOS webpage.

What is required to run a business in Columbus, OH?

In Columbus, OH, if you want to run a business, then you need a few things. First, get a good business plan. Then check what your competitors are doing and who your buyers are. Once you are done with your research, file your business with the state and get started.

Is Columbus, OH a good place to start a business?

A company may be launched successfully in Columbus. Columbus, OH is a fantastic city to launch a company due to its good quality of life and inexpensive cost of living. This is particularly true if you wish to be a part of the Columbus, OH, community that is prospering and expanding.

Can I start my own business with no money in Columbus, OH?

Your choice of business will determine how to proceed. To establish a company in Columbus, OH, you may need to pay licensing fees, government fees, and other state taxes.

Why you shouldn’t move to Columbus, OH?

Only your company may prevent you from relocating to Columbus, OH. You shouldn’t relocate to Columbus if you can’t find the city to be the finest atmosphere for your company. You shouldn’t relocate if Columbus cannot attract prospective customers for your company.

Does Columbus, OH have income tax?

Columbus, OH company income tax is not a concern if you have an LLC. The only taxes you have to pay on your LLC revenue are the federal income tax and, if applicable, state income taxes.

What business can make you rich in Columbus, OH?

No business can make you rich overnight. But it is not impossible in Columbus, OH to become a rich entrepreneur. You can start your own business of food, restaurant, or cafe which are in demand. These businesses can be a good idea to make money.

What business are moving to Columbus, OH?

Columbus, OH is a popular city. Besides, the economy is growing fast. Hence, there are many companies are moving to this city. There are businesses like Food and Restaurant business, Manufacturing, Hotel business, and such are most popular ones.

Is a business license required in Columbus, OH?

The city of Columbus is located in Ohio. In Columbus, OH, a business license is necessary. Before starting a company, a license must be acquired. The city of Columbus is where the license is acquired. Columbus provides a wide range of enterprises.

Which is the cheapest business to start in Columbus, OH?

An internet company is the most affordable venture to launch in Columbus, OH. It costs very little money to establish an online consultation or online course. To launch a virtual coaching or training company in Columbus, OH, you’ll need a strong WiFi connection.

What unique business can I start in Columbus, OH?

Businesses like pet sitting, virtual interior design, and online pet grooming consultations are some of the unique business ideas in Columbus, OH. If you want to start a business in Columbus, OH, then you can try these unique ideas to start with. You can also try selling handmade home decors.

What does a registered agent do for a new company in Columbus, OH?

In Columbus, OH, you must use a registered agent when forming a new LLC. It might be a family member, spouse, boss, or even you. All of your legal and official papers are received on your behalf by a registered agent.

How much does it cost to license a business in Columbus, OH?

You must get in touch with the local government if you want to license a company in Columbus, OH. They will provide you the necessary licensing and cost details. Depending on the kind of company you run in Columbus, OH, there are several license fees.

Does Columbus, OH require small business insurance?

Unfortunately, there is no way to definitively determine if Columbus, OH needs small business insurance. This is so because each city has its own unique set of laws and rules. You should get in touch with your local government if you’re unclear if Columbus needs small business insurance.

Is moving to Columbus, OH a good idea?

If you want to move to Columbus, OH you can. It is not a bad idea. The city has a lot to offer to entrepreneurs and small business owners. You can use all the resources Columbus provides to start your own business.

Do you have to renew LLC Every year in Columbus, OH?

Columbus, OH LLCs are subject to annual renewal. There are a few things to bear in mind, but the procedure is straightforward. To get started, you must submit a paperwork to the Ohio Secretary of State. Before the deadline, submit it online to quickly renew your LLC.

Is it cheaper to live in Columbus, OH or Houston?

About which city is the best to live in, people have been arguing for years. Columbus is renowned for its vibrant economy and multiethnic populace. The less expensive cost of living in Houston is well-known. Choosing which is less expensive requires taking into account a variety of considerations.

How much does it cost to start my own business in Columbus, OH?

The cost of starting your own business in Columbus, OH, will depend on the type of business. If you want to start a business as an LLC, you will need to pay a fee. In addition, you will need to get a business license and a tax ID number.

Is Columbus, OH good for startups?

If you’re looking for a place to start a company, Columbus, OH, is a great place to go. Startups have access to a wealth of resources, not to mention tax advantages. For business owners, there are a number of excellent networking chances.

What kind of business can run itself in Columbus, OH?

There is no self-running company in Columbus, OH. Every company requires human interaction. It could take less of your time and effort if you select a company type that depends on technology than other types of enterprises in Columbus, OH.

What is a Columbus, OH registered agent?

Anyone who is authorized to do business in Columbus, OH is entitled to act as a registered agent there. A registered agent must be named in each LLC in Columbus, OH to receive the paperwork. The registered agent for your LLC may be you.

In Conclusion

Starting a business in Columbus is not only easy but also profitable. A large portion of the US and even people from other countries are registering their business in the US for intercontinental brand building. Besides, Ohio has a sustainable economic atmosphere that is enough to encourage newbies to start and run their businesses in Columbus, OH.

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